Have You Read The Book?

I watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part Two last night.  My schedule was too crowded last Thanksgiving to see it in the theater, but I was glad to watch it, finally, on Blu-Ray.

It’s a good show and I enjoyed it, but I do confess that I haven’t read any of the books.  Not having read them, the movies–even after four of them–still left me with questions:

Do the books give any background on or explanation for the rebellion?  Or is the discontent  simply “there” in the books too?  I kept waiting through all the films for a couple of flashback scenes or at least some exposition that would account for how the world of Panem got to be in the state it was in, but the filmmakers just plunged ahead.

Speaking of Panem, the name reminded me too much of “Pan-Am” and I kept looking for a hidden joke, with Donald Sutherland doing yet another voice-over for “Panem Airways.”  There’s gotta be something like that on a blooper reel somewhere.

The escape from the Mutts underground was very exciting, even terrifying, but I wish the appearance of the Mutts had been set up more fully.  We hadn’t seen anything like them in the previous movies that I recall, and I had kind of a hard time understanding what they were.  Humans that the government had altered genetically, perhaps?  Or did I miss something somewhere?

“Maybe you’re just stupid,” she says.

Could be.

“Or maybe you should do like everybody else and read the freaking books.”

But I don’t have time to read the books.  I will if they’re worth reading, but I want to know if they are before I set out on them.

“What, you’ve never just started a book series without knowing anything about the books?  Where’s your sense of adventure?”

Of course I’ve started book series by just plunging in.  Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels were that way for me; so was The Lord of the Rings.  But I’m older now than I was then.  I have less energy, and my time has to count for more.  Hence, my hesitation about reading Suzanne Collins’ books.  My reading is more planned, more systematic than it used to be.  It has to be that way.  Tarzan know where Tarzan go.

“Tarzan does not know where Tarzan go.”

“Shut up.”

(Sorry.  She gets on my nerves sometimes.)

The movies were worthwhile, and I was glad to see them.  But they left me wondering just how good the source material was.  Do the characters have more depth in the books?  Are the stakes higher in the story than in the movies?  I’d like to know.



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